Minimally Invasive Cardiac Procedures Offered at University of Miami Health System

Transradial Approach for Faster Recovery, Fewer Complications

Dr. Mauricio Cohen is an interventional cardiologist and director of the Cardiac Catherization Lab at the University of Miami Health System.

For more information on the transradial approach (TRA) to treating coronary artery disease or to make an appointment, call 305-243-5554.


Elvyn Soto had already undergone two open heart surgeries when his doctors discovered additional blockages in his arteries early last year. When a third open heart procedure was deemed too risky, Elvyn turned to Dr. Mauricio Cohen, director of the cardiac catherization lab at UHealth, the University of Miami Health System.

Dr. Cohen is an expert in minimally-invasive cardiac procedures used to repair coronary arteries in lieu of traditional surgery. “He sat down and explained exactly what they were going to do,” says Elvyn. “No other doctors do that.” 

Dr. Cohen repaired Elvyn’s clogged arteries using transradial approach (TRA), where stents are placed by threading a thin catheter through a patient’s wrist. “He had many blockages we were able to reach with one single access in the left arm,” says Dr. Cohen. 

For high-risk patients like Elvyn, accessing the heart through the wrist is preferable to using femoral artery in the groin because the wrist artery is much smaller, reducing the likelihood of bleeding and other complications. 

“We’ve demonstrated that radial access is actually associated with less discomfort and better satisfaction for patients,” says Dr. Cohen. “In the case of heart attacks it’s actually associated with less risk of death.” Because of these superior outcomes, Dr. Cohen says he treats 95 percent of his patients using TRA. “The beauty of this is that we have a training program and when we train our fellows and they start their practice they establish a TRA practice.”

Recovery time is also quicker with the transradial approach. Patients walk out of the Cath Lab following the procedure and recover in a recliner instead of a hospital bed. If all goes well, they are released from the hospital within four to six hours.  “It’s a home run because patients can go home the same day,” says Dr. Cohen. 

Elvyn and his family were pleased with the quick turnaround. “My wife and my granddaughter picked me up and said ‘he’s ready to go!’,” Elvyn recalls. “They couldn’t believe it.” Today, Elvyn is maximizing the successful result of the procedure with regular exercise during cardiac rehab. “I feel good,” he says.  “If I have a problem I know where to come.” 


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